Scope and Content of Collection
Title: John F. Russell collection
Collection Number: 85015
Russell, John F., collector.
62 manuscript boxes, 3 phonorecords
(25.8 linear feet)
Hoover Institution Archives
Stanford, California 94305-6010
Abstract: Reports, studies, letters, memoranda, dossiers, notes, bulletins, pamphlets, serial issues, clippings, printed ephemera, and
audiovisual material, relating to communism and subversion in the United States, primarily in the post-World War II period.
Includes material generated by the United States Army Counter Intelligence Corps.
Physical Location: Hoover Institution Archives
Collection is open for research.
The Hoover Institution Archives only allows access to
copies of audiovisual items. To listen to sound recordings or to view videos or films during your visit, please contact the Archives
at least two working days before your arrival. We will then advise you of the accessibility of the material you wish to see
or hear. Please note that not all audiovisual material is immediately accessible.
For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Archives.
[Identification of item], John F. Russell collection, [Box number], Hoover Institution Archives.
Acquired by the Hoover Institution Archives in 1985.
Materials may have been added to the collection since this finding aid was prepared. To determine if this has occurred, find
the collection in Stanford University's online catalog at
. Materials have been added to the collection if the number of boxes listed in the online catalog is larger than the number
of boxes listed in this finding aid.
The Hoover Institution Archives acquired the John F. Russell Collection from Russell in 1985. Little is known of its origin
apart from what may be inferred from internal evidence. In the early 1950s John F. Russell was a lieutenant in the United
States Army Counter Intelligence Corps, stationed at Fort Holabird, Maryland, and associated with the Army's Counter Intelligence
School there. No information on his later career is available. Much of the material in the collection dates from the 1950s
and a portion of this was clearly generated by the Counter Intelligence Corps, some of it perhaps by Russell. Later typescript
and mimeographed material derives from various and unattributed sources. In addition to Russell, others involved in bringing
the material together included Bernard J. Sweeney, W. Fairfield Peterson, George Pfister and Nick D'Angelo. Sweeney was a
major in the Counter Intelligence Corps, also stationed at Fort Holabird and perhaps Russell's commanding officer. Peterson,
some of whose correspondence appears in the collection, was a civilian anti-communist activist living in Baltimore. There
is no information on Pfister or D'Angelo. Much of the collected printed and near-print material solicited from left-wing sources
for the collection was mailed to D'Angelo at a post office box in Baltimore. It is possible that the name was a pseudonym.
A small quantity of older material includes original 1930 documents of the American Vigilant Intelligence Federation. There
is no indication of how or why Russell came into possession of it.
Printed and near-print material from the 1960s and 1970s includes official publications of the Department of Defense and the
United States Information Agency. There is no explanation for Russell's acquisition of them.
Scope and Content of Collection
The focus of the collection is on issues of communism and subversion within the United States. The General Subject File consists
of material arranged by organization or topical area suspected of being under communist influence, and the Individual Subject
File by name of suspect individual. These files show interest in communist influence in liberal organizations, labor, civil
rights movements, education, bookstores and publishers, the press, radio and television, Hollywood, religion (including the
Catholic Church, assorted Protestant denominations, Jewry, esoteric societies such as Rosicrucians and Illuminati, and the
Moral Re-Armament movement), among proponents of the United Nations and world government, within the United States government
(especially the Department of State), and as related to immigration and peace issues.
The collection is of special significance because of its documentation of active United States Army concern with communist
issues affecting the domestic civilian population of the United States. Material within the General Subject File on communist
influence within the United States Armed Forces is also of particular interest in light of the related charges by Senator
Joseph R. McCarthy that ultimately resulted in his downfall. A series of United States Department of Defense Issuances includes
instructional materials on communism generated by the Army's Counter Intelligence Corps at the Fort Holabird Counter Intelligence
School. A series of United States Information Agency Issuances is primarily concerned with international aspects of communism.
Other series of printed matter, including Congressional hearings and reports, Federal Bureau of Investigation and Subversive
Activities Control Board issuances, judicial documents, university course bulletins, and pamphlets and serials emanating from
various sources, are all centrally concerned with communism and subversion issues. There is also a small Audiovisual File.
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
Subversive activities--United States.